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Six truly cool Brooklyn small businesses to shop this holiday

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Six truly cool Brooklyn small businesses to shop this holiday

Brooklyn’s small businesses aren’t letting the Grinch — or the ongoing supply chain shortages — ruin Christmas.

Savvy store owners have come up with creative and crafty ways to keep their shelves full and customers happy.

“We started seriously stocking up in late May and now have a massive amount of inventory,” Mary Meyer, co-founder of Bushwick store Friends NYC, told The Post of the retailer’s holiday season prep.

So — after you read this story, of course — close your browser window, get out of your apartment, and get back to shopping in real life!

Here are a selection of Brooklyn spots worth hitting up IRL, and the coolest gifts to shop from each.

Gone to the Dogs

Miles, wearing a festive dog sweater, sits on a display of more pup apparel at Gone to the Dogs.
Stephen Yang

This place is too doggone cute!

At this pup’s paradise in Park Slope, shop owner Jenn Wong, 38, and business partner Santos Agustin, 39, create and sell sustainable pet toys and cheery canine supplies.

They make many of the items in-house at their combo studio and store, which opened five months ago after a year of strictly online retail. Among their coolest gear? Bright-colored leashes ($58-$68), collars ($54), and harnesses ($100) made with recycled rope collected from local climbing gyms like Brooklyn Boulders.

But it’s their adorable stuffed dog toys that grab the attention of passersby.

Designed by Wong and Augustin, the adorable chew toys at Gone To The Dogs are a staple product at the store.
Designed by Wong and Augustin, the adorable chew toys at Gone to the Dogs are a staple at the store.

Owners Augustin and Wong hold Ollie in front of their leashes, which they make by hand out of recycled gym ropes.

Owner Jenn Wong with Cashew, a dog sporting a locally sold clothing ensemble from her shop.
Owner Jenn Wong with Cashew, a dog sporting a locally sourced clothing ensemble from her shop.

Gone To The Dogs cheeriness has made it stand out in Brooklyn, owner Jenn Wong said.
Gone to the Dogs cheeriness has made it stand out in Brooklyn, Wong said.

“We are constantly getting new customers … Some people think it’s actually a kid’s store,” Wong said, and indeed, the stuffed toys ($16 to $25) would make charming companions for kiddos, too. “We just want to brighten everyone’s day.”

Of their huggable plush squeakers, the onigiri sushi roll, double scoop ice cream cone, and popsicle are some of Wong’s best sellers in addition to the non-squeaking dumpling and shumai toys.

Leashes at Gone To The Dogs are handmade from recycled gym ropes. Dog Cashew struts the neckwear.
Leashes at Gone to the Dogs are handmade from recycled gym ropes. Cashew rocks the neckwear.
Stephen Yang

Other paw-some offerings include handmade, “cruelty free” colorful Alpaca wool doggie sweaters ($116 to $134), patterned bandanas ($29) and bowties ($19 to $45).

Gone to the Dogs; 103 7th Ave., Brooklyn. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays; GonetotheDogs.co.

Friends NYC

Buddy up and head to Friend NYC for a collection of cute and often funny novelty gifts.
Buddy up and head to Friends NYC for a collection of whimsical wares.
Stephen Yang

The clever stocking stuffers and quirky gifts at this Bushwick emporium will please everyone on your list, from your Gen-Z cousin who loves crystals to your wacky aunt.

They’ve got handmade ornaments inspired by La Croix cans, gummy bears and yes, COVID-19-themed kitsch.

“People are really loving the mask and vaccine needle ornaments [$15], those are selling rapidly,” co-owner Emma Kadar-Penner said, adding that funny Christmas card bundles are also popular.

But we’re obsessing over the candles fashioned after a plate of spaghetti (complete with garlic bread) and a bowl of cereal ($59.99 each) and the uniquely cut jigsaw puzzles of vintage-style still-life photos by Le Puzz ($28.99).

Although it doesn’t smell like spaghetti, this hyper-realistic culinary candle is a major seller at Friends NYC.

Randomly cut jigsaw pieces in Le Puzz puzzles are beloved by customers at Friends NYC.
Randomly cut jigsaw pieces in Le Puzz puzzles are beloved by customers at Friends NYC.

Friends NYC, a an indie department store full of kitschy home goods, small gifts, crystals, clothing and smoking goods located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Friends NYC, an indie department store full of kitschy home goods, small gifts, crystals, clothing and smoking goods located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Friends NYC; 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; FriendsNYC.com.

Tula Plants & Design

It's paradise for plant lovers in Greenpoint. Tula Plants & Design has a lot to offer this holiday season.
It’s paradise for plant lovers in Greenpoint.
Stephen Yang

Looking for a taste of the tropics without leaving the big apple this holiday season? Then stop by Greenpoint’s Tula Plants & Design.

Owner Christan Summers prides herself in Tula’s unique collection of plants “scoured” from tropical and southwestern regions.

“The cactuses are quite popular,” Summers said. “There’s one kind called cereus forbesii that people love because it spirals up and looks like a tornado.”

In addition to cacti and other grows, Tula has also bundled together gift baskets for the holiday season. One consists of niwaki garden snipping scissors, a teakwood and tobacco candle, a 1,000-piece puzzle, and a comfy “Tula Smile” sweatshirt for $98.

Shopkeeper Laura-Lee Williams, 26, holds a Calathea Lancifolia ($28).
Shopkeeper Laura-Lee Williams, 26, holds a Calathea Lancifolia ($28).

In addition to plants, Tula also sells clothing related to the Earth's grows.
In addition to plants, Tula also sells clothing related to the Earth’s grows.

Tula Plants & Design, a lush plant nursery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which sells an array of exotic plants, cacti, soil, potting supplies and clothing.
Tula Plants & Design, a lush plant nursery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, sells an array of exotic plants, cacti, soil, potting supplies and clothing.

Tula specialized in plants from tropical and desert regions.
Tula specialized in plants from tropical and desert regions.

Their other hot ticket item is an NSFW planter shaped like a round rump — if you’re looking for a, ahem, cheeky gift.

“It’s kind of hard to not make a funny thing out of them,” Summers admits.

Tula Plants & Design; 59 Meserole Ave., Brooklyn. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; Tula.house. Last day to ship for Christmas is Dec. 15 and last day to shop is Dec. 23.

Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.

Sales associate Bella Rojas Bauso, 27, wears a Kapital Boa Fleece Baseball Cap ($167) and a Kapital Gauze Bandana Patchwork Quilt Jacket ($986).
Sales associate Bella Rojas Bauso, 27, wears a Kapital Boa Fleece Baseball Cap ($167) and a Kapital Gauze Bandana Patchwork Quilt Jacket ($986).
Stephen Yang

Whether you’re a bonafide camper or just upstate-curious, Hatchet Supply will have you bundled to the teeth for your next outdoor expedition.

Owner Gene Han, 39, said selling climbing, hiking, and camping gear in an urban area requires deep customer loyalty, and since COVID-19 struck he’s been grateful for it.

“Our locals who come into the store instead of ordering online and all of our super-fans have been holding us down through everything,” Han said.

As a thank you, Han is offering a store-wide 15% off with the promo code Holiday2021 this season in addition to free shipping on orders over $200.

Stock up on necessities for all your outdoor adventures at Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.
Stock up on necessities for all your outdoor adventures at Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.

Whether you're going for a stroll on wintery day in Brooklyn or plan on scaling a mountain, Hatchet has something for you.
Whether you’re going for a stroll on a wintery day in Brooklyn or plan on scaling a mountain, Hatchet has something for you.

Hatchet offers an “eclectic” supply of outdoor gear and home furnishings.

Sales associate Bella Rojas Bauso, 27, with a Topo Designs x Keen River Subalpine Pack ($59).
Sales associate Bella Rojas Bauso, 27, with a Topo Designs x Keen River Subalpine Pack ($59).

Locals are loving Hatchet’s luxe but practical gear, like the Minima Rhythm 180 W insulation sleeping bag ($600), snow resilient shoes — the Renegade GTX Mid Black ($230) are a big hit — and backpacks for hiking such as the durably made Klettersack ($189).

And for those not yet ready to rough it, bring the scent of wilderness home with a Lineage candle in “Appalachian Woodsmoke” ($25).

Hatchet Supply Co.; 77 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights. Open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends; HatchetSupply.com.

La Nature

Co-owner Peter Rubinstein, 27, uses the refillable soap container at La Nature, a boutique selling plastic free, eco friendly, sustainable everyday essentials in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Co-owner Peter Rubinstein, 27, uses the refillable soap container at La Nature, a boutique selling plastic free, eco friendly, sustainable everyday essentials in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Stephen Yang

Peter Rubinstein, 27, a freelance writer, did not know what to expect when he and his wife Hayley Nguyen, 26, who works in marketing, decided to open their very first business, a “no waste” concept store in Park Slope last May.

But the community fell in love with La Nature, which sells conscious home goods and features a “refillery” of shampoos and soaps so customers can re-use containers from home and help cut back on single-use plastics.

Eco-friendly and decadently scented soaps are for sale this holiday season at La Natural.
Eco-friendly and decadently scented soaps are for sale this holiday season at La Natural.

Hayley Nguyen, 26, left, and Peter Rubinstein, 27, right, at La Nature, a boutique selling plastic free, eco friendly, sustainable everyday essentials in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Hayley Nguyen, 26, left, and Peter Rubinstein, 27, right, at La Nature, a boutique selling plastic free, eco friendly, sustainable everyday essentials in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The refillery (center) at La Natural is where customers can bring their own shampoo and soap bottles for replenishing.
The refillery (center) at La Natural is where customers can bring their own shampoo and soap bottles for replenishing.

Refillable soap, moisturizer and shampoo at La Nature.
Refillable soap, moisturizer and shampoo at La Nature.

The teal storefront of La Nature, a neighborhood zero waste establishment.
The teal storefront of La Nature, a neighborhood zero waste establishment.

Rubinstein recommends the starter kit, which would make a great gift for anyone new to the “no waste” life: For $60, you get two Swedish dishcloths (each replace 17 rolls of paper towels), beeswax wraps (sayonara, Saran!), bamboo utensils, a plastic-free loofah and a silicone reusable storage bag.

“The starter kit really takes away the hesitation to buy for newcomers,” he said.

Other quality bundles include soap-maker Even Keel’s bath fizzy set and the brand’s ‘Body Expedition’ herbal soaps scented with of clove, petitgrain oils, sweet orange, lemongrass, pine and lavender ($29 each).

La Nature; 233 5th Ave., Brooklyn. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday; LaNatureStore.com.

FAD Market

The FAD Market is a highly welcomed artspace in north Brooklyn, creator Jen Bailey said.
The FAD Market is a highly welcomed art space in north Brooklyn, creator Jen Bailey said.
Stefano Giovannini

After taking a year and a half hiatus for COVID-19, curator Jen Bailey’s “bigger and better” FAD Market — FAD being an acronym for fashion, art, design — relaunched this month at two Brooklyn locations, the Invisible Dog Art Center in Boerum Hill and St. Paul’s Church in Cobble Hill. More than 100 merchants from the New York area are represented at the fairs, which boast artisan-made decor, knit clothing, bath and body supplies and more.

“It’s the chance to come offline and connect with community,” Bailey, who lives in Boerum Hill, told The Post.





It’s also the perfect place to pick up a food gift — vendors include K’s European Jams, Amagansett Sea Salt Co. and New Jersey-based charcuterie brand Le BecFin Fine Foods. Bagged wines from Maivino make a perfect hostess gift: One bag ($30 and up) equals two bottles, and they last 30 days in the fridge after opening.

“It’s such an important time for the merchants and we wanted to make some fun holiday magic at the market as well,” Bailey said, adding that there are new additions to the fair this weekend.

If you need a festive holiday card, they’re offering a family-friendly, black and white picture studio helmed by photographer Kristopher Johnson. There’s also free artist demos, including glass beadmaking by Urban Glass and block printing with textile printers Better Than Jam.

FAD Market; The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen St. and St. Paul’s Church, 190 Court St.; Dec. 11th to 12th and 18th to 19th; FadMarket.co.

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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